Which are the Countries allowing Indian Travellers Post-COVID?
Due to the worldwide rampage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global tourism industry had essentially come to a standstill for a while.
However, now things are looking up and many countries have opened their borders and eased their restrictions. So, international travel plans don’t seem like they’re impossible anymore.
Although the full-scale operation of international flight service is yet to resume at present, as India has extended its ban on international commercial flights, a number of “air bubble flights” are operational in association with some other nations, allowing restricted travel abroad.
What is an Air Bubble?
Air bubbles are bilateral agreements between two nations. They establish a travel corridor between the two destinations so that direct travel is possible from one of these countries to the other during the current pandemic situation.
While it is possible for Indian travellers to visit other countries that are not under a bilateral air bubble agreement (those that are open for Indian citizens), they will have to take a more circuitous route through one of the countries where India has operational flight services.
Air Bubble Countries Where Indians Can Travel
Currently, India has an air bubble agreement with 28 countries. These include:
- The Maldives
- The Netherlands
- Sri Lanka
- The UAE
- The UK
- The US
While most of these countries require a negative RT-PCR report from a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure (and often an additional COVID test on arrival), other destinations also require a period of quarantine.
Countries that don’t require quarantine for Indian travellers
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
Countries that mandate quarantine measures for Indian travellers
Who Can Book Flight Tickets?
To travel through these corridors, you must follow specific guidelines. Depending on the country of your visit, these guidelines may differ considerably.
While travel is open in several countries, some require testing or quarantine before entry. In some other countries, travel for tourism is restricted, and it is only open to returning citizens and those who meet strict requirements.
And, for those who are making plans to travel abroad, a travel essential is to get an International Travel Insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment, as well as other common issues like unpredictable flight delays and missed connections, or loss of belongings, so that you can have a safe and protected vacation experience!
If you are immunocompromised, pregnant, elderly, or unvaccinated, it might be advisable not to travel internationally at the present time.
What to Know About Flying to These Countries from India
Many countries are now open to international travel and are welcoming travellers from India. And, since the Indian government has loosened guidelines for foreign non-essential travel, Indian globetrotters can visit any of these destinations.
Remember that most of these countries require certain testing and quarantine measures before, or on arrival, so be sure to account for these requirements in your travel plans.
Additionally, keep in mind that you might be required to follow further testing upon returning from your trip, depending on which destination(s) you have visited.
Countries in Asia: What Is Needed?
- Armenia – You must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival or take a PCR test at the airport.
- Kyrgyzstan – A negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure is needed, but you might need to take a second test upon arrival.
- Thailand – Fully vaccinated tourists from any country can enter the country at Phuket after providing a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, but will have to quarantine there for at least 7 days before they can travel to other parts of Thailand after taking an additional COVID-19 test. (Visitors from 10 low-risk nations including the UK, China, Germany, Singapore, and the US, can skip the quarantine requirements but still need to present a negative test when they arrive and test once again upon arrival).
- The Maldives – Carry a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure, and also complete the health declaration form on the Maldives immigration portal 24 hours before arrival.
- Sri Lanka – You must be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before arrival. Additional tests may be required at your hotel to leave the “bio-bubble”.
Countries in the Middle East: Things to Know
- Bahrain – Visitors must have a negative RT-PCR test taken at most 48 hours before their departure. A second test is required upon arrival, and one must quarantine until the results are delivered.
- Qatar – Passengers need to show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure. They must also undergo 10-14 days quarantine on arrival, regardless of vaccination status.
- Oman – Travellers have to carry a negative PCR test taken at most 72 hours before departure. They will also need to take a second test upon arrival, through the Sahala platform, and immediately quarantine for 7 days
- United Arab Emirates – Those who have received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine (Including the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield in India) where the second dose was at least 14 days before travel, can travel to the UAE. You might also be required to get a second test upon arrival and get special permission to travel to certain areas like Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Countries in Europe: What to Remember
- Albania – Apart from screenings for medical personnel, there are no testing requirements.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Passengers must show a negative PCR test issued within 48 hours before departure.
- Kosovo – Visitors must have a negative PCR test taken in the last 48 hours before their departure. If you don’t carry this certificate, you will need to quarantine.
- Montenegro – You need to show a negative PCR test issued 72 hours before departure, unless you have a certificate for having received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine (and the second dose was at least 7 days before arrival).
- Russia – You must have a negative PCR test that was issued at most 72 hours before arrival.
- Serbia – Passengers must show a negative PCR test issued at most 48 hours before arrival. If you don’t carry this, you will need to quarantine.
- Turkey – Travellers have to submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. They will also need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
- United Kingdom – While the UK recognizes AstraZeneca Covishield on its list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines, Indian travellers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days prior to departure. After arrival, a second test must be taken, following which travellers must quarantine for 10 days. [MV1]
- EU Green Pass – Apart from these countries, Indians who have received both the doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine can also visit 16 countries in the European Union as part of their Green Pass Scheme without needing to isolate or quarantine upon arrival.
They require proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure. An additional COVID test on arrival might also be required. These countries are:
- The Netherlands
*NOTE: Unvaccinated travellers can also travel to France but must present either a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure or a negative antigen test from within 48 hours before departure. They must also quarantine for 7 days upon the arrival.
Additionally, travellers who have not been vaccinated but can show proof of recovering from the virus, can visit Germany, Iceland, and Switzerland, but may require additional tests upon arrival.
Countries in Africa: Things to Know
- Egypt – International travellers need to show a negative PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival.
- Ethiopia – Visitors must present a negative PCR test before boarding the flight, and the validity should exceed 120 hours upon arrival. If you don’t carry this certificate, you will need to quarantine.
- Gambia – You must have a negative PCR test result that was issued at most 72 hours before arrival. Quarantine is mandatory if you don’t have such a certificate.
- Ghana – Passengers must show a negative PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure. A second test will be required upon arrival, and if this is negative, quarantine is not necessary.
- Guinea-Bissau – Those arriving to the country need to have proof of a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure.
- Mali – To visit, you must have a medical certificate with a negative PCR test result issued within 7 days before departure, and also present a Health Declaration upon arrival.
- Mauritania – You need to have a negative PCR test dated within 3 days before arrival, and then you will be required to quarantine at your hotel or residence for 10 days. Once completed, you need to take a second PCR test, and if this is negative, you will be able to leave quarantine.
- Mozambique – Visitors must show a negative COVID-19 test result that was taken at most 72 hours before departure.
- Namibia – Passengers need to have a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test from within 7 days before departure. You also need to submit an Epidemiological Questionnaire upon arrival.
- Rwanda – Travellers must present a negative PCR test taken at most 120 hours before departure. Then, they will need to quarantine at designated locations for 24 hours while they get the results of a second COVID-19 test conducted upon arrival.
- Senegal – A negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 5 days before departure is required. Additionally, travellers need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before entry.
- South Africa – You need to have a negative PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure, and you need to submit a Traveller Health Questionnaire 2 days before departure.
- Zambia – Visitors should have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at most 7 days before arrival. If they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, a second test and quarantine will be required.
Countries in North & South America: What You Need
- Barbados – Regardless of vaccination status, travellers must have a negative PCR test issued at most 72 hours before arrival. At the airport, they need to take a second test, mandatorily quarantine for 7 days, and then take a further test on the 8th day.
- Belize – You must have either a negative PCR test result, or proof that you have received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine.
- Bermuda – Passengers need to have a negative PCR test result issued at most 5 days before arrival and must quarantine for the 4 days until they receive this negative result. Additionally, they must obtain travel authorization at most 3 days before departure.
- Costa Rica – Testing is not required, but travellers need to fill out a Health Pass to show authorities upon arrival.
- Ecuador – Travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days before arrival, and/or vaccination certificate, or a COVID-19 recovery certificate. They must also present a Traveler Health Declaration upon arrival, and a 10-day quarantine is required only for those who do not carry negative test result
- El Salvador – Visitors need to show a negative LAMP, NAAT, RT-PCR test result issued at most 72 hours of arrival, or proof of vaccination.
- Guatemala – New arrivals need to present either a COVID–19 vaccine certificate (where the second dose was administered at least 2 weeks before travel), a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival, or proof of COVID-19 recovery at least three months before arrival.
- Guyana – Passengers need to have proof of a negative PCR test taken at most 7 days prior to arrival.
- Honduras – You need to show a negative COVID-19 test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival, and also fill in an Immigration Pre-check form.
- Mexico – While there are no testing requirements, you must present a completed Questionnaire for the Identification of Risk Factors upon arrival.
- Nicaragua – Travellers need to have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result issued no more than 72 hours before arrival.
- Panama – You need to show a negative PCR or Antigen test result taken at most 48 hours before arrival, and also need to present a completed Declaracion Jurada de Salud. Visitors also need to take a second test upon arrival, and quarantine for 3 days.
- Paraguay – Visitors must show a medical certificate with a negative LAMP, NAAT, RT-PCR test result taken at most 72 hours of arrival, and an International Travel Insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment. They must also complete Traveler’s Health Information 24 hours before departure.
- The Dominican Republic – While there are no pre-departure testing requirements, travellers might need to complete breath testing and health screening on arrival and will be required to quarantine if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, they must complete an Electronic Ticket form before arrival.
- The United States of America – Vaccinated Indian passengers are allowed to visit the US from November 2021. They need to show proof of vaccination, and a negative RT-PCR test or an antigen test hat was taken at most 3 days preceding departure before boarding. Quarantine it is not required for (fully) vaccinated travellers, but additional tests might be required upon arrival.
- Venezuela – All travellers must show a negative PCR test performed within 48 hours of departure. They will also need to take a further COVID-19 test upon arrival.
DISCLAIMER – This article was updated on 7th October 2021. The information mentioned here regarding country restrictions, entry requirements, etc. is taken from different sources. Please verify the same before you book your tickets, apply for a visa, or purchase a travel insurance policy.